It’s Valentine’s week, and beyond giving love to a “significant other”, it’s also a great time to think about loving and nurturing ourselves even more.
Nurturing yourself is, most likely, the last thing you do. Most of us are busy taking care of our families and our careers before we get around to taking care of ourselves. In fact, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re at the end of the line. But, it’s very important to make time to take care and nurture yourself.
Here are 5 ways you can nurture yourself and increase your well-being.
1. Exercise. We all know that exercise is a vital part of our lives if we want to be healthy. Exercise is also a great way to blow off steam and relieve stress. It also increases the release of endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in your body. Feeling good about you is always a positive thing! Oh, and by the way, even a 5 minute walk to the mailbox can be valuable…just get your body moving and get the blood flowing!
2. Connect with Others. Oftentimes, we find ourselves too busy to get together with friends or to have a date night with our partner. It’s time to make time for those things again! Getting out in a social setting is a positive experience that will help you feel better and make you forget about your worries.
3. Keep a Journal. Writing allows you to get all of your thoughts on paper. This frees up your mind so that you can relax and unwind. Don’t worry about complete sentences or grammar…just write. Use shorthand if you want. As long as you can understand what you’ve written and it helps you relax, that’s all that matters.
4. Say NO. This is very difficult for some of you because you might feel guilty about saying it. But, (news flash) you’re not a super hero. You can’t be everything to everyone. And it is okay to say no and start saying yes to you.
5. Take a bath. Another great way to nurture you is with self-care and that might be taking a bath, getting a massage, or just laying down on the couch to listen to the birds outside. Take time throughout your week to just relax and be.
Work on nurturing yourself on a daily basis. Even if you only do one of these things, you’re on the right track. Just remember, that email, those dishes, that whatever else can wait 15-20 minutes while you nurture yourself. It really only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to replenish yourself and start feeling good again.
Do you know someone that needs a little self-love and nurturing? Please share this blog post with them and give them a little loving nudge. I am sure they will appreciate it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill